Question 196. When a strike is taken place within the enterprise’s premises, does an Employer have the right to request all of the Employees to cease their work and pay salaries on ceasing work as well as asking for help from the local police officers to support in maintaining order and security at the workplace? If the local police officers refuse to support or even if they do but not in time, can the Employer hire other security services providers to support them?

The provisions of the Labour Code allow an enterprise to temporarily close their workplaces during a strike due to a lack of necessary conditions to maintain the usual operations or to protect the enterprise’ assets[1]. However, the enterprise shall notify of the temporary closure at least 03 working days prior to the date of the temporary closure of the workplaces, the Employer shall publicly post the decision on temporary closure at the workplaces as well as notifying the following competent authorities, organisations: (i) Organisation representing Employees which organise and lead the strike; (ii) the Provincial People’s Committee where such workplace is located; (iii) the district-level People’s Committee where such workplace is located[2]. The Employer is prohibited from temporarily close the workplace 12 hours prior to the beginning of the strike as stated in the strike decision; or after the strike ends[3].

During the temporary closure, all Employees, including those who do not participate in the strike, shall cease work and the Employer shall pay these Employees salaries as follows[4]: (i) any Employee who does not take part in the strike but have to cease work due to the strike are entitled to wages on ceasing work as an amount not less than the minimum wage as prescribed by the Government at that time [5]; (ii) Any Employee who takes part in the strike are not entitled to wages and other benefits as prescribed by the labour law unless otherwise agreed by both parties.

The labour law has no specific regulations on whether the Employer can seek assistance from local authorities or hire security services providers to support enterprise during a strike. However, the acts of “using violence, causing damage to machinery, equipment or assets of the Employer” and “infringing public order and safety” are considered as prohibited acts before, during and after the strike[6]. Therefore, in practice, in case the Employer finds that the Employee participating in the strike has disruptive acts that affect public order or the Employer finds that there is a need of assets protection, the Employer may seek help from the local authorities such as police or hire security services provider to assist. However, this intervention or support shall not interfere with the Employee’ right to strike[7].

[1] Article 203.3 (b) of the Labour Code

[2] Article 205 of the Labour Code

[3] Article 206 of the Labour Code

[4] Article 207 of the Labour Code

[5] Article 99.2 of the Labour Code

[6] Article 208.2 and Article 208.3 of the Labour Code

[7] Article 208.1 of the Labour Code